It takes about four years to become a professional plumber in Alameda. This includes completing an apprenticeship program, which typically lasts for three years. After becoming a journeyman plumber, you must then pass a licensing exam to earn your professional license.
It was supposed to take 5 years. There are ways to cheat the system, but that does nothing good for anyone. If you want a complete plumbing education where you get 10,000 hours of hands-on training and 10 semesters of classroom instruction while making a decent wage with good benefits the whole time, I suggest you join the union if you can. If not, there are many community colleges with good programs as well. Alameda Community College has a very good program and they offer an associates degree in plumbing technology. The Contra Costa Community College District also offers a good program. Lastly, if you want to go the private schooling route, Lincoln Technical Institute has a campus in San Francisco that offers a plumbing technology program.
It is important to note that becoming a professional plumber requires completing an apprenticeship program, which typically lasts for three years. After becoming a journeyman plumber, you must then pass a licensing exam to earn your professional license. So, while it may only take four years to become licensed, it generally takes closer to five or six years to gain the experience and education necessary to become a professional plumber.
It depends on your location and how much work is in it. There will likely be an aptitude test to see if you qualify for the program. There are usually study courses you can take if you don’t test well. I believe the tests our local administers are the Arco Mechanical Aptitude and Spatial Relations Tests. It’s a series of timed tests. The first is a general aptitude for machines; the second is more specific to plumbing. If you’re good with your hands and have some mechanical ability, you should do fine. The scores on the tests will determine how much of a stipend you make while in the 4-year program. Ours maxes out at $25 an hour, but that was 5 years ago.
In California, there are two ways to become a certified plumber: completing an approved four-year apprenticeship program or attending a community college that offers a two-year certificate or degree program in plumbing technology. Completing an apprenticeship program is the most common way to become a certified plumber. Apprenticeship programs are sponsored by unions or businesses and usually last four years. Upon completion of an apprenticeship program, plumbers must pass a state examination to earn their certification.
Community college plumbing technology programs generally take two years to complete and include both classroom instruction and hands-on training. These programs typically culminate in an associate’s degree or certificate in plumbing technology. After completing a community college program, plumbers must also pass a state examination to earn their certification.
Once you have completed an approved education program and earned your certification, you must then pass a state licensing exam in order to practice as a professional plumber. In California, the licensing exam is administered by the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation, Bureau of Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation. After passing the exam, plumbers are then required to renew their license every two years.